This virtual event features the PIDS study “SocPen Beyond Ten: A Process Evaluation of the DSWD Social Pension (SocPen) Program for Indigent Senior Citizens amid the COVID-19 Pandemic” authored by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Jose Ramon G. Albert, consultant Jennifer D. Monje, and Research Analyst Mika S. Muñoz. This study investigated the SocPen’s design and current implementation processes, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent experience of the DSWD with the Social Amelioration Program, which included cash transfers for SocPen beneficiaries and other vulnerable populations. The findings suggest that SocPen has contributed to improving the old-age pension coverage rate in the country. However, several implementation deficits need to be addressed to make the program more impactful. These include increasing the amount of the cash stipend, improving beneficiary targeting to ensure that indigent seniors, who are the target beneficiaries of the program as stipulated in the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, are really the ones benefitting from it, and relinking the operational definition of indigent to financial needs. One of the study's recommendations to improve targeting is to ensure that all SocPen beneficiaries are in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), also known as Listahanan, to determine their income decile. This can help delist beneficiaries who do not need the support and provide fiscal space for a differentiated scheme based on need (i.e., bigger benefits to poor social pensioners).
Copy of the study may be downloaded from this link:
Making the Social Pension (SocPen) Program More Beneficial to Indigent Seniors amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
A Process Evaluation of the DSWD Social Pension (SocPen) Program for Indigent Senior Citizens amid the Covid-19 pandemic presented by Dr. Jose Ramon Albert, Senior Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Reaction of Ms. Maricel Deloria, OIC-Assistant Bureau Director, Program Management Bureau, Department of Social Welfare and Development
Reaction of Atty. Franklin Quijano, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, National Commission of Senior Citizens
Reaction of Mr. Dennis Destacamento, Project Coordinator, Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc.